Skip Navigation
search: People Opens New Window | Departments Opens New Window | Penn State Opens New Window | Web Opens New Window
Penn State mark
Penn State mark
University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Arts and Architecture

The COLLEGE OF ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE has these primary educational objectives: (1) to provide high-quality professional instruction in the fields of architecture, art, art education, art history, graphic design, landscape architecture, music, music education, theatre and musical theatre, and to prepare teachers in those fields; (2) to provide an array of resident instructional opportunities in artistic and environmental areas for all students in the University; and (3) to provide ongoing opportunities for personal growth for the citizens of the Commonwealth through continuing education in all of those arts and professions and by direct involvement in fostering programs of performance, exhibitions, publication, design, planning, and audience development.

The college’s mission is to educate and prepare artists, scholars, teachers, and other arts professionals and to enrich the lives of others through the celebration and dissemination of the arts. To that end the college focuses upon (1) education, in its broadest sense, through creative expression and appreciation of the fine arts, performance, and design; (2) scholarly research and creative endeavors in the arts for the benefit of faculty and students, as well as for society at large. The college seeks effectiveness in pursuit of its mission through (1) a climate for excellent achievement, fostered by high standards for faculty, with concern that the excellence of their continuing scholarly professional and creative work be balanced with the excellence of their teaching; (2) core stability and strength by maintaining a balance of disciplines that reinforce each other and that approach completeness in the teaching and practice of the arts/architecture range of disciplines; (3) maintaining the scope of its offerings in a broad array of courses and programs and wide diversity of arts exposure and training, within limits imposed by considerations of feasibility, appropriateness, and a significant measure of societal need.

Students can prepare for a professional career in the following fields: (1) architecture, landscape architecture, (architect, landscape architect, planner); (2) art history (art historian, museum curator); (3) art, art education (painter, sculptor, designer, digital artist, ceramist, printmaker, photographer, art educator); (4) graphic design (art director, project manager, designer), (5) music, music education (performer, composer, musicologist, music educator); (6) or theatre (actor, director, designer, technician, dancer).

The college also administers a program in Integrative Arts, a multidisciplinary theme-oriented and student-designed major that is organized around a coherent theme or issue that the student wishes to explore, includes course work from two or more different subject areas, and provides a focus that could not reasonably be studied through another program.

To be eligible for entrance to a major in this college, a degree candidate must be enrolled in the college or satisfy requirements for entrance to the college. In addition, the degree candidate must meet entrance-to-major requirements of the University, of the college, and of the program area. For information on how to apply ot each degree program in the college, students should review the requirements posted at Under certain circumstances, the University may need to limit enrollments in the college or in certain majors because of space limitations.

PROFESSOR KELLEANN FOSTER, Director and Associate Dean

The Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture offers accredited, five-year baccalaureate degree programs in Architecture and Landscape Architecture and a four-year curriculum in Graphic Design that help students prepare for entry-level positions as professional architects, landscape architects, and graphic designers. Architecture students interested in careers in fields such as construction, real estate development, or historic preservation, in consultation with an adviser, may opt to enter the four-year bachelor of science degree program in Architecture (ARCBS). Students in the Department of Architecture take courses in architectural design, history, theory, structural systems, materials, environmental systems, and professional practice; students in the Department of Landscape Architecture complete course work in site design, regional planning, visual communications, history, resource conservation, and design implementation. The Graphic Design program provides students with the technical skills and creative and intellectual capacity to pursue careers in design studios, advertising agencies, packaging, publications, and corporate design. These majors are available only at University Park campus. A semester abroad is required of students in architecture and landscape architecture.


The Department of Art History offers a bachelor of arts degree program in Art History and two minors--a minor in Art History and an interdisciplinary minor in Architectural History. First-year students seek admission as general students in the College of Arts and Architecture, then declare a major once they have earned grades at the University. First-year students may begin their studies at any Penn State campus, but Art History majors must complete their degree program at University Park campus.


The School of Music offers one general and three professional programs leading to baccalaureate degrees in music. The general program (B.A.) provides a liberal arts education with music as the major subject. Two of the professional programs (B.M.E. and B.Mus.) emphasize the development of proficiency in the major area: music education, music history, composition, or performance, while the B.M.A. is an interdisciplinary program that is intended to prepare students for a career in performance as well as develop a secondary emphasis outside of music. Placement in any degree program is based partly on an audition, a placement examination, and an interview, all of which can be arranged with the director of the School of Music. Such examinations are advisory and designed to counsel the student.

Students in all programs take courses in theory, history, and their major instrument during their first four semesters. (These courses are available only at University Park campus.) All students attend a designated number of recitals and common hours. All B.Mus., B.M.A., and B.M.E. students take jury examinations each semester. All Music majors undergo a comprehensive second-year review of their eligibility to continue.

The School of Music provides opportunities for the non-major student to participate in a wide range of musical activities. Besides the performing ensembles, there are courses specifically designed for the non-major student in music appreciation, rudiments, jazz, and individual and group performance instruction.


The School of Theatre offers one general and two professional baccalaureate degrees in theatre. The general program (B.A.) provides a liberal arts education with theatre as the major subject. The professional programs (B.F.A.) emphasize the development of proficiency in Musical Theatre or one of two options: Design and Technology or Stage Management. Placement in any degree program is based partly on an audition/portfolio review and interview.

Students in all programs take courses in dramatic literature, theory, history, and their major area of emphasis as well as the full range of courses that the general education experience comprises.


The School of Visual Arts helps students prepare for careers as studio artists or art educators through a combination of professional and liberal studies. The B.A. or B.F.A. degree can be earned in any of six studio areas of concentration: ceramics, drawing and painting, new media, photography, printmaking, or sculpture. The B.S. can be earned in Art Education. The B.A. degree combines a comprehensive liberal education with professional studies in the studio areas. The B.F.A. is a professional degree that develops the competence necessary for a career in art or as preparation for graduate study in visual art. The B.Des. degree in interdisciplinary digital studio program helps students prepare for a career in digital arts. The B.S. in Art Education helps prepare art teachers for either elementary or secondary schools, for educational positions in museums, arts centers, health or custodial care centers, and similar institutions.

Graduates of the Schools option of the Art Education program will have met all of the academic requirements for a teaching certificate in Pennsylvania and in about thirty other states as well.

Graduates of the B.A. or B.F.A. degree program are eligible to pursue graduate studies toward either the M.A. or M.F.A., and those who have earned the B.S. in Art Education are qualified to apply for admission to an M.Ed. or an M.A. (and eventually an Ed.D. or a Ph.D.) program in art education or in art therapy.


The Continuing and Distance Education program of the college has a wide variety of programs and activities available to the people within the Commonwealth and will plan special programs upon request.

FORMAL INSTRUCTION--Numerous undergraduate and graduate-level credit courses listed in the bulletin can be conducted throughout the state providing proper facilities and/or equipment are available.

INFORMAL INSTRUCTION--Noncredit courses, workshops, or other types of informal programs (lectures, demonstrations, conferences) are available or will be developed in most areas of the arts. Examples of these are workshops or courses in ceramics, photography, painting, and musical skills.

SPECIAL EVENTS--Concerts and recitals, jazz dance productions, and art exhibits can be scheduled in any appropriate facility. For example, groups of professional musicians are available to perform, as are student groups specializing in various styles of music from contemporary to classical.

INDEPENDENT LEARNING--A limited number of home study courses in the arts are available. Requests for information on all continuing education activities within the college should be addressed to Continuing and Distance Education, College of Arts and Architecture, The Pennsylvania State University, 104 Borland Building, University Park, PA 16802.


In order to be certified for graduation a student must complete the general education requirements, the requirements of the major, and the number of elective credits required in each program. The minimum number of credits for each program is listed in the description of the major. In addition to the minimum number of credits required, each student must earn at least a grade of C in designated courses in the major field and must have earned a minimum grade-point average of 2.00.

In addition, all students in the college must complete 6 credits of history of the arts. These credits may be counted as a part of the major or, if outside the major, may be counted under the bachelor of arts degree requirements.

NOTE: ROTC courses are voluntary; a maximum of 6 ROTC credits may be counted as electives in meeting graduation requirements.


The majors that lead to the B.A. degree require a broad liberal education with an overall view of the arts plus a major program of studies in one of these five fields: art, integrative arts, art history, music, or theatre.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL STUDENTS--All students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree program in the College of Arts and Architecture are required to satisfy 9-24 credits of B.A. requirements as listed below.


BACHELOR OF ARTS -- Bachelor of Arts degree majors require 9-24 credits distributed among three categories. In addition, students are expected to complete credits required by their college and major.

Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one language. This proficiency must be demonstrated by either examination or course work.

The B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification. Courses may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major. Foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language. Credits must be selected from the list of approved courses at:

Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Students must select 3 credits from the list of approved Other Cultures courses at: Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.


Recommended Academic Plans provide, in table form, the courses students might schedule semester by semester as they pursue a specific undergraduate degree. Each college or campus maintains Recommended Academic Plans for its own majors/degree programs. Links to these plans are on the Division of Undergraduate Studies website at: Questions concerning the Recommended Academic Plans should be directed to the college or campus involved or the Division of Undergraduate Studies.  




SCOTT WING, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Outreach

ANDREW P. SCHULZ, Associate Dean for Research

GARY CHINN, Assistant Dean of Digital Learning

KATE DOMICO, Assistant Dean of Administration and Information Technology

KELLEANN FOSTER, Director and Associate Dean, H. Campbell and Eleanor R. Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture



H. Campbell and Eleanor R. Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture--KELLEANN FOSTER, Director
   Department of Architecture--MEHRDAD HADIGHI, Head
   Department of Landscape Architecture--ELIZA PENNYPACKER, Head

Department of Art History--ANDREW P. SCHULZ, Interim Head

School of Music--R.J. DAVID FREGO, Director

School of Theatre--BILL DOAN, Director

School of Visual Arts--GRAEME SULLIVAN, Director

GEORGE TRUDEAU, Director, Center for the Performing Arts
ERIN COE, Director, Palmer Museum of Art
BILL DOAN, Artistic Director, Penn State Centre Stage
GERARDO EDELSTEIN, Music Director, Music at Penn's Woods





Look up course abbreviations

Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

Skip Popular Searches
  1. Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
  2. General Education: United States Cultures and International Cultures
  3. Course Index
  4. Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin
  5. General Education: Arts
  6. General Education: Humanities
  7. General Education: Health and Physical Activity
  8. General Education: Natural Sciences
  9. General Education: Social and Behavioral Sciences
  10. General Education: Writing/Speaking